Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women's rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women's rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.
M.A., Leiden University, The Netherlands
In her remarkable and unflinchingly honest memoir, the author recounts her transformation from what she terms, "the world of faith to the world of reason."
The Caged Virgin
This book is aprofound meditation on Islam and the role of women, the rights of the individual, the roots of fanaticism, and Western policies toward Islamic countries and immigrant communities.
Speeches and Testimony
Coming to America
A reflection on an immigrant's African background and her joy to now live in the West.
The Role of Journalism Today
Journalists have a responsibility to illuminate the vast differences between Islam and the West.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali reflects on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and its relevance for women in Islamic societies.